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An update on N and I

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Kiba posted 2/25/2020 12:35 PM

Great news. He still loves you and asked you to be his valentine. Bad news is that you blew it. I do not think you meant to suggest to him that you are willing to divorce him. I do think he gave you an opportunity to show him that you wanted him. But telling him that if he needs a divorce to be happy and not miserable does not convey that you want your husband.

As hellfire says, you need to be fighting for him. But you sound defeated. Offering him a divorce if he needs it. What he needed was to know his wife wants to be his wife. And if you truly do, then start behaving like it. Ask him to dinner at your place. Every single day and if he asks you to stop. Tell him "No, I am your wife and I want to have dinner with my husband." If he agrees, don't ask to hug him when he shows up. Just hug him. If you are bold enough, kiss him on the cheek. Also, Make him his favorite dish.

And it also seems like you are too scared to even ask to be intimate with him now. No internet stranger needs to know that btw. If that is the case and you two do manage to snuggle up, like you did on Valentines day, then don't miss the opportunity to suggest your willingness to be intimate should he choose to. Something like "I am scared of making a big mistake by asking, but I am still your wife if you want me tonight." Which is a hell of a lot better than "If you need to divorce to be happy, then I will give you a divorce."

Seriously LD. Start actually fighting for your marriage if you want N to remain your husband. If he still wants a divorce, fine. Know that is a consequence of your actions last year. If he decides to be reunited with you, then never ever stop showing how grateful you are to the grace he gave you. That doesn't mean he now has a free pass to walk all over you (which it doesn't appear like he will ever do that to you again).

hikingout posted 2/25/2020 12:51 PM

He's a grown man. He doesn't need you to make decisions for him. If he decides he is really done, he will tell you. The flip flopping is normal. But when he is done, and he allows the divorce to be finalized, then you will know. Until then, respect him enough to allow him to decide what he wants for his future. He doesn't need you to treat him like a child, and decide for him

This is exactly what I was doing too, and it really almost landed me a divorce. I got very similar advice at that point (we were about 9-10 months out at that time) and I followed it. He needs to know you are sure about what YOU want to do. And, you can't back down off that. I know that it feels like you have expressed it and he should know it, but that's just it, in those moments he doesn't know it. I feel like I am watching history repeat itself with this post.

I would also agree that you need to learn to filter out the people who say things that you don't feel are true. I know some of the fear is of N reading it and agreeing with it. But, I think N knows the truth too and sometimes seeing things like that strike a cord that it doesn't feel true to him either. I have seen that happen already many times as N has posted.

Unsure2019 posted 2/25/2020 13:43 PM

LD,
I agree with some of the most recent posts. Take the word D out of your vocabulary. Whenever N brings it up, tell him emphatically that you have never wanted a divorce and you do not want one now. Tell him you WANT him. PERIOD – and say it with heartfelt felt emotion. Make this your mantra.

thatbpguy posted 2/25/2020 14:43 PM

I'm not giving up hope, and I will be strong for the both of us. If he can't care about me right now, then I will care about us for the both of us. I know what I want.

This.

This!

THIS!

sisoon posted 2/25/2020 17:00 PM

I disagree. If LD had said the following, I would be more positive:

I'm not giving up hope, and I will be strong for ME. If he can't care about me right now, then I will care about ME. I know what I want.
What LD actually wrote sounds almost intrusive to me.

I wanted to know I was wanted. My w had already fucked up doing anything for me. She had her damned A because she thought I didn't want more from her and she suddenly thought she had more to give. She had shown she could not take in what I communicated.

So I wanted to know she wanted me and our M for her.

I never did trust selflessness.

BTW, I'm reading When Nietzsche Wept right now, and that's affected my thinking, which affects what i write....

emergent8 posted 2/25/2020 17:05 PM

The vulnerability hangover that HikingOut mentions is absolutely a real thing. You have a good moment or afternoon and for a minute or even a few hours let yourself feel comfortable, like everything feels like it could maybe work out, and you two could maybe be happy again. This feels so comforting because you have been craving this feeling.... and then *BOOM* you remember what happened and how terribly you were betrayed and the bad/scared feelings flood back in so you remind yourself that you absolutely cannot and should not trust this person and you were stupid for feeling happy if even for a moment. It is emotional whiplash, it is exhausting, and it will happen to him over and over and over again.

I will tell you that he really needs right now is consistency from you. He needs to know that he can trust you to be there for him and to fight for your marriage regardless of how bad things get. (I think N struggles with this part specifically because he does not totally feel entitled to his feelings). YOU need to be the strong, steadfast one, even if you're not feeling like it all the time. He will only begin to trust you again if you demonstrate to him over and over and over again that you are in it with him for the long haul. You can tell him this all you want (and I encourage you to do so) but your actions are what matter most right now. Please know that you can do everything right 19 days out of 20 but none of that matters if you wobble on the 20th day. All my husband's good days (and there were many) blur together but years later I clearly remember the one time he lamented in desperation, "will it always be like this?!" I went back and forth once an hour on whether R was possible and I needed him to be unwavering in his confidence that we would make it.

I've said it before on N's thread, but I think one of the best things you've demonstrated throughout all of this, is your steadfastness in your desire to be with him and to save your marriage. Do not change that now. You've mentioned divorce to him twice and both times its sent him into a tailspin. For god's sakes, STOP mentioning it!!! That would have absolutely crushed me. If you want your marriage, fight for it until its too late to fight anymore. Your hesitancy makes it sound like you're waiting for him to reassure you and to fight for you. Obviously if he asks you to back off, respect his wishes but for now, stop worrying about bugging him. Stop looking for him to give you signs because he honestly doesn't know what he wants right now.

About the Valentine. As a BS, I know that that was a really REALLY big deal. He put himself out there. It took me more than a year to even buy my husband a card and we were very committed to R at that point. He cried when he opened it. All is not lost.

Hippo16 posted 2/25/2020 17:11 PM

LifeDestroyer:

Go read MrsSouthAfrica for why you should not give up.

(I think you both posted on each other)

Your Mr. has to heal himself first.

devastedone posted 2/25/2020 17:15 PM

Sorry if I am repeating-I read the thread quickly.

I am a BW, 5.5 years out. When I read your post, it felt wayward to me. Because of this...

Ifeel extremely selfish asking him to stay stuck in this shit hole with me. I don't want him to be miserable with me. I want him to be able to look at me and feel happiness. He doesn't think he ever will. How can I honestly sit here and not want better for him? How is that wrong of me

Do you see how many times you reference yourself here?

My WH would say the same things. He would say that everything he was doing would never be enough. That I would never "get over it" and "move on". He was defensive to a fault and imo, set us back months if not years. He defended himself by using my pain against me, so that he wouldn't actually have to see it for what it was.

What I really wanted, was for him to fight for our M. I didn't want to hear "I will let you go if you will be happier without me". To me, that was giving up. I was fighting so hard to save our relationship (I won't say M anymore...but that's a different story) that I was exhausted. I wanted him to put his ego, his hurt, his shame, his guilt, his emotions...all of it...second to MINE.

For a long time, he couldn't - or wouldn't - do this. Oh, he said that he thought of me first. But in reality, his defensiveness and his triggers and his "hurt" were always there...always "as bad" as mine.

When you stated that you told your H about your triggers, I couldn't help but cringe. I am sorry that I don't know your whole story. Honestly, I have no doubt that you love your H with your whole heart and that he loves you. But he doesn't need to hear about your hurt or your triggers right now. That is what IC is for. What he needs right now is for you to shoulder the pain in your relationship. He needs a break from trying to "fight" for the M or for trying to show you that he still loves you. He really doesn't owe that to you at all. But if you want to stay M to him, you owe it to him.

If my WH had listened to me early on...really listened to me about what I needed, I wouldn't be here anymore. 5.5 years. That's a long time. I think about his A daily. It hurts more than I ever could have imagined. Our relationship has turned a corner for the better. But our M will never be the same. That is the sad part.

A Valentine's Day card to you was a nice thought on his part. Ever since Dday, I loathe picking out cards for my WH. It got so bad that this year, on our Anniversary (5 years past dday), I said no way. Not only was I not going to buy a card, but I would not celebrate our Anniversary. Everything about the day made me sick-in particular the part about celebrating a happy M. That weekend was the happiest I have been for a long time-I set a boundary and I kept it.

Did you ask him what it was like for him to pick out a card for you? Did you maybe suggest that it would be nice for him to do? I'm not being judgmental, but these are things I truly don't know if a WS understands.

Kiba put it well. Start fighting for your marriage if you want to stay married to your H. Don't make his pain about you. He needs you to be the bigger person here. That and consistency will slowly, slowly allow him to (maybe) feel safe again.

[This message edited by devastedone at 5:17 PM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

Lostallalone posted 2/25/2020 18:24 PM

LD
I have been watching this thread from the beginning and I can see you both want each other back just mho. I know it will take a lot of work but plz like other posters have said start fighting for your man. My wife treats me very meh. And it hurts. I wish she cared more. Fight fight fight.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/25/2020 18:50 PM

What he needed was to know his wife wants to be his wife. And if you truly do, then start behaving like it. Ask him to dinner at your place. Every single day and if he asks you to stop. Tell him "No, I am your wife and I want to have dinner with my husband." If he agrees, don't ask to hug him when he shows up. Just hug him. If you are bold enough, kiss him on the cheek. Also, Make him his favorite dish.

He knows I want to be his wife. He can't or won't believe me, no matter what my actions say. I would love to ask him over to dinner, but he won't do anything with me while our daughter is around. He doesn't want to confuse her. I've gone over to the house several times after she has fallen asleep and he has come over here.

seems like you are too scared to even ask to be intimate with him now.

I'm not scared to be intimate with him. I do follow his lead, but once it starts, I don't back down. I follow his lead because I don't want to start something and it trigger him.

Sissoon, I'm confused on your comment. How is what I said "I will care for the both of us" intrusive?

I have told him countless times that I know we can be happy together. I know we can build a new relationship where we actually communicate with one another. I tell him several times a week that I am not going anywhere, that I am not giving up on us. We don't live with each other, so all I have are my words for the most part. I'm not worried about what he will read here because he hasn't been on in over a week. He said he has enjoyed not being on here because he doesn't have to think about my ap and me. I don't think he'll be on here for awhile.

HellFire posted 2/25/2020 19:17 PM

He does NOT know you want to be his wife. It will take months of consistent words,and actions,from you, for him to remotely believe that.

Gently, you also fed him a ton of lies,and told him over, and over, he had the truth,until the night before the poly..until you told the poly admin the truth before the test.

So saying he knows because you've told him over and over tells me that you don't quite understand how deeply he was affected by the lies you told.

Consistency . Patience. Love. FIGHT.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:01 PM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

Iamtrash posted 2/25/2020 19:50 PM

Maybe some T/J

I feel like I understand where LD is coming from when she brings up divorce. Please chime in if I’m wrong, LD. I know when you first come here, you get a ton of conflicting posts. Even the ones that are similar are portrayed and explained in different ways. Each person has a different expectation for the advice they are giving, even if it sounds the same as the posters below.

One major theme that always gets mentioned is letting go of the outcome. Now, that’s a pretty broad idea and there are so many ways to go about letting go of the outcome. As a newcomer, it felt like I was taking responsibility and giving my BH back control of his life by saying that I understood and accepted if divorce was the only solution for him. I made the choice to have the affair, so divorce could very well be a repercussion of that. It felt like taking ownership of the wrongs I had done. It felt like handing the reigns back to my BH so that he could steer where he needed his life to be.

Now, do I want a divorce? Absolutely not. I want to continue with IC. I want to expose every single flaw within me. I want to hold up my BH and support him in his own healing. I want to show him that I realize what I willingly lost and want to work to earn him back. We have good days and bad days. I’d gladly take 100 bad days together over a few good days apart. I want to take the steps to ensure I never think and act that way again. I want him to feel safe.

I have also made the mistake of saying things like “if we divorce”, “is divorce what you need to heal”, and other similar statements that mention divorce. It was never done maliciously. It was never done to make him think I was quitting or didn’t want to continue to build from the rubble. It all goes back to thinking and feeling like it is, in some way, respectful to him to let him know I own what I did and that I understand that even if I do everything right to help him, his pain may be too great to get past this. We did have to have the discussion about how he felt when I mentioned divorce. He needed to feel like that wasn’t my only focus. He needed me to understand that his mind shifts from day to day. Some days divorce seems like the best option, other days it doesn’t. That’s how quickly is changes and fluctuates for him. No matter how he feels on any given day, the decision will be his to make. I don’t have that control.

That was eye opening. To him, me taking about divorce made him feel like I was trying to take control and force him to decide. It made him feel pressured to answer me when his decision isn’t made. (Again, it’s always changing.) What he needed was for me to just focus on helping him and listening. Keep my mind on today and now instead of worrying about the future for us. Divorce isn’t happening today, so I needed to focus on what is happening today.

It’s so easy to read vague advice and try to do with it what you can. This is applicable to a lot of advice given here. All I know is that I don’t believe LD had any malicious intent bringing up divorce. Sometimes “letting go of the outcome” is a simple as closing your mouth, opening your ears, and truly listening to what your BS needs TODAY, in that moment. It means making yourself stop thinking about all the possible future outcomes and what ifs. Just worry about today and let your BS take the lead. Their decisions will come with time, stop worrying about decisions they haven’t made and worry about what they need now.

Justsomelady posted 2/25/2020 19:57 PM

I don’t believe LD had any malicious intent bringing up divorce. Sometimes “letting go of the outcome” is a simple as closing your mouth, opening your ears, and truly listening to what your BS needs TODAY, in that moment. It means making yourself stop thinking about all the possible future outcomes and what ifs. Just worry about today and let your BS take the lead. Their decisions will come with time, stop worrying about decisions they haven’t made and worry about what they need now.

I second this. I don’t think there was anything malicious at all, she just missed the right notes and it closed him up again. He needs her reassurance, over and over. I think the tough thing about that is they are MHs and there is a lot in their history and so she needs reassurance and craves certainty too, only - she has to table that need for now.

HellFire posted 2/25/2020 20:01 PM

Many of us don't think she brings up divorce maliciously.

We are giving her our perspective, as betrayed spouses, how it feels, how it affects us, when our WS would mention divorce.


Her goal is reconciliation. We are trying to help her get there. That won't happen if her BH makes himself extremely vulnerable, and she turns around and says she will divorce him if he wants.

His actions since she said that, are proof of that.

LD, I'm rooting for you. I believe in you. I believe he loves you. I also believe he is scared. Now is the time you dig deep. And keep digging. Patience. Consistency . Love. FIGHT.

Justsomelady posted 2/25/2020 20:04 PM

Agreed. Wasn’t saying that is what you or others think. Just affirming a comment I liked and emphasizing how much harder it must be for them as MHs.
Sending good vibes LD. Best wishes for all.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:05 PM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 2/25/2020 20:10 PM

It is hard, and I would like some reassurance. I get that from the few words he lets out. Mainly that it's still a "maybe" for divorce and not a "definite." I'm trying to talk to him now, but he has no interest. I asked him how he'd been doing. He said great. He hasn't said he was great this entire time. He does not want to speak to me about us at all. He barely answers about non-related things. I keep texting him. I tell him about my day or something about our daughter, but he doesn't respond
Put yourself in my shoes for a second. How would you proceed with this?

Iamtrash posted 2/25/2020 20:18 PM

I feel like you’ve been given a lot of different messages and signals in a short amount of time. It’s hard to not reflect on that. That’s just what happens when their mind and moods are also rapidly shifting.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like you should just be consist. Keep up the good fight. If he’s receptive, great. If not, it’s no reason to quit. The only way I’d back down is if my BH flat out requested space at that moment. Not responding/short responses aren’t a request to be left alone. And even if he doesn’t respond, at least he knows you’re interested in how he’s doing.

Justsomelady posted 2/25/2020 20:26 PM

It is a tight spot. His messages basically convey “leave me alone” as that is what we are trained to see with that sort of shortness in the regular works of social interactions. But I think in his case it is likely him being caught up in feelings, maybe even punishing you - but also testing you to be consistent that you still are there. Unless and until he says -it’s over leave me alone, keep on keepin on. It sounds soul crushing and I am so sorry. I hope it has the outcome you want. Your love is very evident.

I don’t mean it tritely- keep up with self care and attempts at mindfulness. Check out meditations for feeling with difficulties. This is a problem that won’t clear fast and you need to be connected to the present moment and ok with riding waves as they come.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:29 PM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

hikingout posted 2/26/2020 07:59 AM

One major theme that always gets mentioned is letting go of the outcome. Now, that’s a pretty broad idea and there are so many ways to go about letting go of the outcome. As a newcomer, it felt like I was taking responsibility and giving my BH back control of his life by saying that I understood and accepted if divorce was the only solution for him. I made the choice to have the affair, so divorce could very well be a repercussion of that. It felt like taking ownership of the wrongs I had done. It felt like handing the reigns back to my BH so that he could steer where he needed his life to be.
Now, do I want a divorce? Absolutely not. I want to continue with IC. I want to expose every single flaw within me. I want to hold up my BH and support him in his own healing. I want to show him that I realize what I willingly lost and want to work to earn him back. We have good days and bad days. I’d gladly take 100 bad days together over a few good days apart. I want to take the steps to ensure I never think and act that way again. I want him to feel safe.

I think this is an excellent point. We do talk about letting go of the outcome. But what we are really saying is walk into your authenticity. When we are only focused on getting what we believe we want, we end up manipulating - the other person and ourselves.

Manipulation sounds like a dirty word, but it's not completely. It can be done with good intentions. But, let's look at this thing as the example:

He gave you a card. This lit you up I am sure, but instead of rejoicing in that moment, you reached for more reassurance. It's not that you do not mean to be noble and divorce if it helps him, I see that aspect, but you were not authentic in what you were saying, he could see that. You have made enough steps in the right direction I think he almost grasped that you really do want him (even if it was fleeting) and then he saw you being inauthentic again. It was fear on both sides. The problem is if you both fear it, it's going to stay far away.

Look, I have said this multiple times, I totally understand your issue. I feel like this entire post was a reliving of a turning point for H and I. We were in house separated. We got intimate one night and three days later he wants a divorce. We start working on that and I tell him I will make it easy for him, and I was more than fair in the agreement that we arranged. But, I wasn't showing up. I wasn't pleading my case. I thought that was respecting him, but it was me staying out of my own authenticity and vulnerability. Consistency. Honoring your own feelings. You can do that and still respect his.

Please take in what these BS's are telling you. They were here to tell me the same thing. And, they were right. They have the insight you need. Keep going. This is a marathon and not a sprint and the finish line isn't now, it's down the line.

JBWD posted 2/26/2020 10:14 AM

His messages basically convey “leave me alone” as that is what we are trained to see with that sort of shortness in the regular works of social interactions. But I think in his case it is likely him being caught up in feelings, maybe even punishing you - but also testing you to be consistent that you still are there.

I think JSL’s words are quite useful here- Almost a year ago BW told me she wants to divorce. She also said “Maybe she’ll feel different about R in a year or two.” Since then our interactions are almost exclusively text and frequently abrupt. Until I got to understanding who the victim was (I “knew” it but didn’t deeply feel/process) I took the curt “ok” reply as proof that she hated me. CBT helped me reinforce that her response was not necessarily about me, and that I wasted my own time trying to decipher any unstated meaning.

I think that degree of “second guessing” is becoming a natural feature of life and becomes exceedingly destructive. Bottom line is don’t waste time reading into what you think, work off of what you know- N is hurting, you’re hurting. You want to get better and you want to get better together.

[This message edited by JBWD at 10:17 AM, February 26th (Wednesday)]

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